Times are so good it's easy to forget how recently they weren't - and how bad things were. To our international friends on the forum - forgive a moment of reflection on my country. The imminent debut of Cadillac's impressive Super Cruise system, along with learning that VW's chairman Herbert Diess said "in the old world our competition is Toyota, Hyundai, and the French...in the new world it is Tesla" gave me goosebumps. It also brought to my mind Clint Eastwood's Chrysler commercial from only five years ago: (I still can't watch it without my jaw involuntarily clenching as my eyes begin to glisten). I was recently in Detroit - it is difficult to describe the disorienting combination of awe, melancholy, regret and hope one feels while looking at the battered-but-still-grand buildings and factories there and seeing the signs of new life emerging from decay. Today we have a strange situation - two American companies (Cadillac and Tesla) which have both been counted out more times than I can count - will shortly have on the market the most functional autonomous systems available for sale anywhere. Cadillac in particular has gone from a joke to a brand that has regained a lot of its prestige in recent years while going through so many failed attempts at renewal. As for Tesla - the crazy dream of a couple engineers and one workaholic, eats-pain-for-breakfast visionary leader - the fact that Diess explicitly acknowledged Tesla as VW's main competitor brings to mind this: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you - then you win." That may or may not have been said by Mahatma Gandhi but the point is - on point. Don't misread me, international friends - my point isn't about winning or "beating the Germans" by a few months or a model year. It's about - it's about a kind of feeling of relief - of "wow we're still alive" mixed with genuine pride for what these Americans have accomplished in an era when many have (with good reason) wondered if Americans could still accomplish much of anything.